Last fall was really dry.  I heard of farmers having extra wear and tear on their tractors and tillage equipment because the dry ground made pulling really hard.  Then several weeks ago, I heard about a farmer who was concerned about planting into dry dirt and having uneven emergence.  It is amazing how quickly things can changed once we got a 4“ rain.
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This reminds me of a dry spell we went through during my childhood.  My dad was a farmer and he was concerned that the crops get some rain.  Not only was dad concerned, he was literally praying for rain.  My little brother was not very old at the time, but he too began to pray for rain and he was actually quite persistent in his prayer.
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Soon it began to rain and as it kept raining, but my little brother kept praying for rain.  Finally my parents had to tell him that since our prayers had been answered, he no longer needed to keep repeating that particular prayer.
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My little brothers prayers and the spring rains in Bancroft are a reminder that God can send rain whenever he chooses.  Psalm 147:7-8 says, “Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:  Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.”  Let those who have received rain in the midst of a dry spell not forget to thank God for it.
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The habitual prayers of a child are also a reminder to the rest of us concerning the issue of prayer.  Too often our prayers become vain repetition- just saying what we have said before- rather than real vital communication with God.  Jesus warned, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.” (Matthew 6:7)
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I do not know if my brother’s prayers were vain repetition or the innocent persistence of a child.  Persistence in prayer is not condemned but rather it is encouraged.  “And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?” (Luke 18:7)  My little brother was definitely persistent and we did get rain.
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The passage in Psalm 147 reminds us that God prepares the rain for the earth, but it also reminds us that we should thank and praise God.  Prayer should not be something we do only when we need help from God.  Prayers should also be used to praise and thank God.  Think of the opening line of the Lord’s Prayer where He taught us to pray, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be they name.”  That line is praising and exalting God, as does the closing of that same prayer, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever. Amen.”
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When we pray and ask for something we are admitting how dependant we are on God.  When we praise and thank Him, we are recognizing His power.   I like the acronym A.C.T.S. that reminds us of the components that should be involved in prayer.  A= Adoration.  We should praise and adore God.  C= Confession.  We should admit our sin and ask for forgiveness and forgive others.  T= Thanksgiving.  We should show our thankfulness toward God.  S= Supplication.  Because we are so dependant on God we should bring our needs before Him. 
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With all these reasons to pray, no wonder I Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.”